Paderborn: Mentis (2019)

Maria Elisabeth Reicher
Aachen University of Technology
In this book, a general type ontology of works is defended and developed in detail. A wide concept of “work” is used here, such that “work” roughly corresponds to “artefact”. Though the focus is on works of art, the theory is meant to be applicable, in principle, to works of science and technology and to everyday items of all sorts as well. Among others, the following questions are discussed: To what ontological category or categories do works belong? Is there a principled ontological divide between linguistic and musical works, on the one hand, and works of the visual arts on the other? What is the relationship between works and such diverse things as performances, manuscripts, scores, blueprints, stagings, film screenings, printing plates, data carriers, and others? What is the relationship between works and interpretations? In what way do works come into existence? Can works, once they are finished, be changed and/or cease to exist, and if so, under what conditions? Which sorts of parts can be distinguished within a work? Is the context of origin constitutive of a work’s identity? Can a translation be identical with the original linguistic work? Who is the author of a computer-generated work? The central thesis is that works of all kinds are abstract artefacts, i. e., types that are instantiated in concrete particulars, that is, in material or mental objects and events. The relationship between works and their “realizations” is defined by means of a modes of predication distinction, as it is used in a variety of Meinongian logics. An extensive chapter is dedicated to the relation between “representing works” and their represented worlds, with a focus on fictitious worlds and their objects. The latter are modeled as parts of fictional works.
Keywords artefact  ontology of art  fictional objects  types and tokens  Meinongian logics
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